How to build a dove house

bright eyed dove image by Pix by Marti from

The most common dove in the United States is the mourning dove, a small, greyish bird which mates for life, and has a distinctive ‘whoo whoo’ call. For these birds a dove house is more of a protective ledge, as they prefer nesting in areas on a platform, and are not naturally cavity dwellers.

Mourning doves will use a nesting ledge for as many as five broods per season, so if you plan to try and attract a pair of nesting doves to your dove house ledge, you can expect a lot of birdwatching action.

Cut your lumber with the saw, so that you have one 8-by-8 inch square base, a 9-by-8 inch back, an 8 1/2-by-8 inch roof and two 8 1/2-by-4 inch side pieces.

Place your base piece flat on your work surface, then glue the back piece at a 90 degree angle, onto the back of the base. Clamp and let dry.

Glue the top piece at a 90 degree angle to the back—it should be parallel to the base. Clamp and let dry.

Glue the side pieces onto the base, and the back. They will extend up 3 1/2 inches, leaving a 4 1/2 inch ‘window’ on the sides of the dove house. Clamp and let dry.

Nail through all the glued joints, one nail every two inches, to secure the dove house together. Use ½ inch nails.

Position the corner brackets in the corners of where the base and back, and roof and back meet. Screw in place with ¼ inch screws.

Select your mounting position—for optimum attraction, a site overlooking the garden, on the wall of a shed, under the eaves or on the garage wall. The website Birdhouses 101 recommends a height of between 7 and 14 feet. Screw the dove house ledge in place, drilling four holes around an inch from each corner of the back of the ledge, then screwing down. Use 1 to 2 inch screws, depending on the mounting area.